Story By: JAMES ESSEX / LUCAS OIL LATE MODEL DIRT SERIES – WHEATLAND, MO – Johnny Scott led all but the first lap in picking up the biggest win of his career on Saturday night at Lucas Oil Speedway. The 32-year-old New Mexico native scored the $15,000 win in the 16th Annual CMH Diamond Nationals. The event was co-sanctioned with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series and the Lucas Oil MLRA Series.
Scott, who entered the race tied with Chad Simpson atop the MLRA points now stands all alone before the series heads to Moberly, MO on Sunday. The 50-lap main event ran caution-free and took just 14 minutes and 32 seconds to complete.
Jimmy Owens, who has been to victory lane at Lucas Oil Speedway eight times in his career had a shot at Scott in the closing laps but came up just short of his fifth career Diamond Nationals victory. Brandon Sheppard also made a late-race charge to come home in third. Mark Burgtorf in his first appearance this year with the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series finished in fourth followed by pole-sitter Kyle Strickler who was fifth at the finish.
Owens led the first lap before Scott bolted to the lead on the second circuit getting by the four-time Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series National Champion. Owens and Strickler had an excellent race for second as those two drivers went back-and-forth for the spot with Owens getting to second in the last six laps of the race.
Owens brought Sheppard with him, rapidly closing in on Scott towards the end of the race. Just as Owens looked like he would have a shot he ran into some difficulty with traffic that forced him to change his line and Scott slipped away from him for the win.
For Scott it was his third win of the season at the “Diamond of Dirt Tracks” and his fifth of the season with the Lucas Oil MLRA Series. “I was just trying to maintain my lead through lapped traffic. I knew I needed to get around those guys and I also knew the top just wasn’t there. I thought if I could run my lines and stay consistent, I thought I could hold them off. I knew they were right there. It worked out for us, thanks to my brother (Stormy Scott) and his crew without them none of this would be possible either; they help me a ton on this car. I am glad we could finally put it all together tonight.”
Owens made up several car lengths in the closing laps coming up just short of his fourth Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series win of 2022 as he finished 0.679 seconds behind the race winner. “We were just moving around; the bottom was so dominant all race long. It was really surprising, it’s usually not like that. We were just trying to get around lapped cars and I saw Johnny wasn’t pulling those guys and I couldn’t really pass them. I thought heck I would get up there and try the top, I just got up there about three or four laps too late. Johnny’s been good here the last several times he’s been here. Hats off to those guys they deserve a good win.”
Sheppard with his third-place finish closed the championship points race as he now sits just 100 points behind Tim McCreadie before the Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series heads to Huset’s Speedway in Brandon, SD on Tuesday night for the first time. “The track slowed down a lot there at the end. We were able to move out on the racetrack some. It was a solid night for us. I couldn’t ask for much more than that. Obviously we wanted to win. The car was really good hopefully we can keep this momentum going and carry into next week. I am looking forward to coming back, the track was awesome you couldn’t ask for much more than that.”
The winner’s Longhorn Chassis is powered by a Clements Racing Engine and sponsored by Mesilla Valley Transportation, Rancho Milagro Racing, Eagle Moon Hemp Farms and Lab, Big Deal Car Care, Ed and Trudy Healy, Penske Racing Shocks, Simpson Race Products, Swift Springs, Top of the World Ranch, Slicker Graphics, and Race Ranch Clothing Company.
Completing the top ten were Tim McCreadie, Garrett Alberson, Earl Pearson Jr., Spencer Hughes, and Daulton Wilson.
Lucas Oil Late Model Dirt Series
CMH Diamond Nationals
Saturday, July 16th, 2022
Lucas Oil Speedway – Wheatland, MO
Allstar Performance Time Trials
Fast Time Group A: Johnny Scott / 14.762 seconds (overall)
Fast Time Group B: Spencer Hughes / 15.059 seconds
Penske Race Shocks Heat Race #1 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 8-Kyle Strickler; 2. 1ST-Johnny Scott; 3. 7B-Mark Burgtorf; 4. 58-Garrett Alberson; 5. 25-Chad Simpson; 6. 1T-Tyler Erb; 7. 15L-Payton Looney; 8. 7H-Brett Hansen; 9. 14M-Reid Millard
Summit Racing Equipment Heat Race #2 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 20-Jimmy Owens; 2. 1-Brandon Sheppard; 3. 39-Tim McCreadie; 4. 18D-Daulton Wilson; 5. 65-Jon Binning; 6. 22M-Steve McDowell; 7. (DNF) 96-Dalton Imhoff; 8. (DNF) 50K-Kayden Clatt; 9. (DNF) 78S-Steve Stultz
Simpson Race Products Heat Race #3 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 11-Spencer Hughes; 2. 1S-Jeremy Shaw; 3. 10G-Garrett Smith; 4. 22H-Daniel Hilsabeck; 5. 71-Hudson O’Neal; 6. 2S-Stormy Scott; 7. 7W-Cole Wells; 8. 10-Jacob Magee; 9. 80-Rich Dawson
Ohlins Shocks Heat Race #4 Finish (8 Laps, Top 4 Transfer): 1. 46-Earl Pearson Jr; 2. 36-Logan Martin; 3. 20RT-Ricky Thornton Jr; 4. 93-Mason Oberkramer; 5. 15V-Kolby Vandenbergh; 6. 7-Ross Robinson; 7. 49-Justin Wells; 8. 3-Brennon Willard
Fast Shafts B-Main #1 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 25-Chad Simpson; 2. 1T-Tyler Erb; 3. 15L-Payton Looney; 4. 50K-Kayden Clatt; 5. 7H-Brett Hansen; 6. 78S-Steve Stultz; 7. 14M-Reid Millard; 8. 22M-Steve McDowell; 9. 65-Jon Binning; 10. (DNS) 96-Dalton Imhoff
UNOH B-Main #2 Finish (10 Laps, Top 3 Transfer): 1. 71-Hudson O’Neal; 2. 2S-Stormy Scott; 3. 15V-Kolby Vandenbergh; 4. 7-Ross Robinson; 5. 7W-Cole Wells; 6. 10-Jacob Magee; 7. 3-Brennon Willard; 8. 49-Justin Wells; 9. (DNS) 80-Rich Dawson
16th Annual CMH Diamond Nationals Feature Finish (50 Laps):
Lap Leaders: Jimmy Owens (Lap 1); Johnny Scott (Laps 2-50)
Wrisco Feature Winner: Johnny Scott
Arizona Sport Shirts Crown Jewel Cup Feature Winner: n/a
Brandon Ford TV Challenge Feature Winner: Johnny Scott
Margin of Victory: 0.679 seconds
Stop-Tech Cautions: n/a
Series Provisionals: Ross Robinson
Fast Time Provisional: Brett Hansen
Series Emergency Provisionals: n/a
MLRA Provisionals: Steve Stultz; Jacob Magee
Track Provisionals: n/a
Big River Steel Podium Top 3: Johnny Scott, Jimmy Owens, Brandon Sheppard
Penske Shocks Top 5: Johnny Scott, Jimmy Owens, Brandon Sheppard, Mark Burgtorf, Kyle Strickler
Optima Batteries Hard Charger of the Race: Hudson O’Neal (Advanced 7 Positions)
Midwest Sheet Metal Spoiler Challenge Point Leader: Tim McCreadie
Hot Rod Processing Most Laps Led: Johnny Scott (49 Laps)
Sunoco Race for Gas Highest Finisher: Jimmy Owens
O’Reilly Auto Parts Rookie of the Race: Garrett Alberson
Dirty Girl Racewear Fastest Lap of the Race: Johnny Scott (Lap 2 – 15.993 seconds)
DirtonDirt.com Tough Break of the Race: Chad Simpson
Outerwears Crew Chief of the Race: Levi DeMartino (Johnny Scott)
ARP Engine Builder of the Race: Clements Racing Engines
Miller Welders Chassis Builder of the Race: Longhorn Chassis
Dirt Draft Fastest in Hot Laps: Jacob Magee (15.330 seconds)
Time of Race: 14 minutes 32 seconds
Lucas Oil Late Model Points Championship